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08-19-2014, 07:06 PM   #1
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Hold Camera Vertical, records in Landscape - is this possible?

Greetings,

In a nutshell, I have minimal finger and wrist movement (consequence of a severe virus), reintroduced myself to photograph and progressed to Pentax DSLRs about five years ago. The easiest way for me to hold a DSLR is with the camera oriented vertically (portrait).

Accessibility/usability question - does anyone know if it is possible to hold a K-3 vertical-style, yet render a horizontal (landscape) image?

Cheers

08-19-2014, 07:17 PM   #2
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You can use a tripod, or if you like to take pictures handheld, you can buy a grip and hold it vertically, you'll have a landscape picture upside down, then you can rotate it in your pc
08-19-2014, 07:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by redblur Quote
Accessibility/usability question - does anyone know if it is possible to hold a K-3 vertical-style, yet render a horizontal (landscape) image?
The sensor orientation follows the camera orientation. Sorry

Would the battery grip allow the type of hold you desire?


Steve

---------- Post added 08-19-14 at 07:26 PM ----------

Alternatively, a monopod (collapsed to use as a vertical hold) with remote trigger might be another option.


Steve
08-19-2014, 07:30 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, I was wondering if the auto-camera orientation could be locked to horizontal - looks like not. I was also checking around for firmware hacks.

The battery grip with a remote trigger fixed to the side might work out okay.

08-19-2014, 07:33 PM   #5
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Yes the monopod idea works for me, also allows extension.

Last edited by Blue; 08-19-2014 at 07:50 PM. Reason: link to blog
08-20-2014, 04:18 AM   #6
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I was also thinking about your problem whilst walking home this evening. The issue is essentially a matter of ergonomics in context of the limited functionality of your hand. After playing about with my camera tonight thinking of your hand problem, I found myself rotating the camera to the right to use portrait mode such that the RHS of the camera rested in the open upturned palm of my right hand; the camera was at about rib level and about six inches out from my chest, thumb conveniently fell on the shutter button, and with live view on for framing the image (I couldn't work out how to bring the camera to my eye with this method of holding the camera without substantial wrist movement). It seemed like a similar position that one would have held a twin lens reflex camera many years ago when these cameras were popular. The joint rotation to allow this seemed to be at my elbow rather than my wrist. Left hand rested on top of the rotated camera to provide stability. Right elbow was tucked in tight to my ribs so it was quite a stable way to hold the camera. With this orientation, like one or two others here, I was thinking the Pentax battery grip with its shutter button at bottom right, in the same place I found my thumb falling on, would allow this method of camera holding to work with landscape orientation. And if weight is a challenge with this method of holding the camera, then a lightweight monopod extended conventionally to support the camera might also be of benefit- left hand placed top left and right hand as I described for portrait mode below the camera at bottom right and the monopod taking all the weight.

I am also assuming the grip shutter button is active when the camera is in landscape mode and isn't automatically disabled when the camera senses it is held horizontally - someone here with a grip might like to chime in and confirm what a grip's shutter button behaviour actually is. I don't own a grip so can't advise on this.

If you are currently swinging the camera to the left though, then I'm not sure a grip would help. Swinging left makes some sense as the left hand then takes the weight and the camera can be held higher so the viewfinder could be used instead of live view. But I found then that I had to rest my right hand on top of the camera (to avoid wrist movement) and curl one of my right hand fingers quite a bit to access the shutter button. Trying to imagine your hand movements, I wasn't sure if this curling could be readily done. Hence my experimentation turning the camera to the right.

Lot of guessing here not knowing exactly what your hand functionality is, but some food for thought anyway.

BTW, I use a monopod sometimes with tele lenses. You can keep a camera near eye level for hours waiting for shots without any arm tiredness as all the weight of the camera plus lens is transmitted vertically down through the monopod leg. Ideal setup for an all-day attendance at a airshow, but could be good for other occasions when bearing the camera's weight for any time could be an issue, eg sports events (even sitting down, just shorten the leg), zoo visits waiting for animals to pose properly, herding cats family together for a family snap, etc. Unlike a tripod, you can quickly move around. And with a single leg near your body, no concern that someone is going to trip on a tripod leg and send the whole lot to the ground (or just generally cuss at you for getting in their way). No reason to confine monopod use to tele lenses, the same benefits can be realised using wide to normal lenses.

Final thought as I am about to post this reply, what about a wireless remote velcroed/double sided taped to the camera at some place your hand/thumb might fall when the camera is in landscape orientation?? Eg on camera right hand size?

Last edited by southlander; 08-20-2014 at 04:24 AM.
08-20-2014, 06:22 AM   #7
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Hello southlander,

This is an excellent reply, thank you very much.

The technique you describe in your first paragraph is exactly what I am currently doing for vertical shots! Well done, and good guess, the camera is swung to the right. It works well, though I use a different trick for landscape oriented shots. Also exclusively using Live View with brightness dialed up, you are quite right, I don't use the viewfinder with this method - you'd be surprised at how acurate you can become at literally pointing a camera and firing without even checking Live View or viewfinder. Other settings which assist are AV priority with exposure bracketing, multi-pattern auto white balance and either/not locking focus point with exposure (depends on scene). To make landscape shots, the camera rests on my knee (I use a wheelchair), so you can imagine my photography can have a distinctive style, especially car shows.

For all of this, the ergonomics and features of the K3 are fantastic. It is a relatively small sized DSLR compared to other manufacturers, with lenses that aren't doubling the weight of the body.

Your suggestion of fixing a remote, probably on the RHS of the body, I intend pursuing, it might just give me an extra 30-40cm of landscape-shot elevation. Angles are everything.

Thanks a lot for your time and effort, much appreciated.
08-20-2014, 06:37 AM   #8
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You're very welcome redblur, pleased to help. Unlike some pursuits, photography is ultimately limited more by the mind than by outright physical ability.

---------- Post added 08-20-14 at 11:18 PM ----------

I've just had a look at your profile redblur - another Aussie. There's plenty of us here on the forum. What part of the country do you hail from?

08-20-2014, 08:06 AM   #9
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As someone who also has hand problems (and elbows), I would caution you a bit about adding the extra weight of the grip if you are going to hand hold it. A little difference in weight is a big deal for me. I am thinking it might be for you, too, since you mentioned smaller and lighter lenses.


Monopods I like -- mine is collapsible down to pretty small and unfolds practically by itself, but requires more hand use than I would like to re-collapse it.


I have often seen chairs with small writing desks that swing down and away. I wonder if such an item is available for wheelchairs, or could be contrived? You could put down a bean bag and turn or tilt the camera anyway you desire without having to support the weight, and you could still use the monopod when you wanted a taller angle.
08-20-2014, 10:28 AM   #10
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I think in the Menu you can turn off Auto Rotate, if that is what you are thinking..? But the sensor is in the camera, can't do much about it. I wish there would be digital cameras with a square sensor, then it doesn't matter how its turned lol unfortunately, only some film and polaroid cameras allow that
08-20-2014, 11:41 AM   #11
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If the weight of a grip is a concern, look into a third party grip. They're not nearly so solid, and weigh a lot less. A remote seems like a good option, too, though, if you don't mind using a tripod with it.
08-20-2014, 12:12 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I think in the Menu you can turn off Auto Rotate, if that is what you are thinking..? But the sensor is in the camera, can't do much about it. I wish there would be digital cameras with a square sensor, then it doesn't matter how its turned lol unfortunately, only some film and polaroid cameras allow that
Agree! I think a square sensor would be awesome! There are some cameras that can crop down from the native sensor ratio to a square but that comes at the expense of resolution.

The best I can come up with is to either use in camera cropping or get a 4:3 ratio camera like a Q and crop manually. You will lose resolution but maybe less with a Q than 3:2 ratio native sensor?
08-20-2014, 12:41 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I think in the Menu you can turn off Auto Rotate
That's what I was thinking about at first. C menu number 22ish? But that would leave a vertically shot landscape lying on its side, so probably not the best solution. A rotating or square sensor, now that would be cool.

Besides the tips already posted here, maybe using the Hugin stitcher software could be something to work with. Taking several overlapping photos and combining them to one broader panorama in post production. There's other tools or Photoshop doing that, too, but Hugin is free and pretty easy to use. Albeit stitching does have limits of course, like my last try with too many repetitive patterns.

Last edited by Undot; 08-20-2014 at 12:51 PM.
08-20-2014, 02:16 PM   #14
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Oh yeah, the K-01 allows "square" aspect ratio, by simply cutting off the corners. And the Q probably allows this as well. Probably not the solution OP is looking for, but still
08-21-2014, 03:30 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleC Quote
As someone who also has hand problems (and elbows), I would caution you a bit about adding the extra weight of the grip if you are going to hand hold it. A little difference in weight is a big deal for me. I am thinking it might be for you, too, since you mentioned smaller and lighter lenses.


Monopods I like -- mine is collapsible down to pretty small and unfolds practically by itself, but requires more hand use than I would like to re-collapse it.


I have often seen chairs with small writing desks that swing down and away. I wonder if such an item is available for wheelchairs, or could be contrived? You could put down a bean bag and turn or tilt the camera anyway you desire without having to support the weight, and you could still use the monopod when you wanted a taller angle.
Hi Nicole - it's not so much the weight, more the awkwardness and lack of hand/wrist movement for finer movement. I'll happily lift a 3kg camera, then again drop a tiny point-and-shoot!

The monopod and attached remote button ideas really appeal and I'll be trying them for sure.

---------- Post added 08-21-14 at 08:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I think in the Menu you can turn off Auto Rotate, if that is what you are thinking..? But the sensor is in the camera, can't do much about it. I wish there would be digital cameras with a square sensor, then it doesn't matter how its turned lol unfortunately, only some film and polaroid cameras allow that
I was hoping there might be a way of 90degree rotating the image - either before it reaches the sensor or the unlikely rotation of sensor image. Square sensor eh, actually a 645Z is sounding good too, a bit of clipping wouldn't matter at all.

---------- Post added 08-21-14 at 08:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by southlander Quote
You're very welcome redblur, pleased to help. Unlike some pursuits, photography is ultimately limited more by the mind than by outright physical ability.

---------- Post added 08-20-14 at 11:18 PM ----------

I've just had a look at your profile redblur - another Aussie. There's plenty of us here on the forum. What part of the country do you hail from?
Hi southlander - I am another Aussie, from Canberra. Looks like we have a similar Pentax lineage!

For me:: ME Super --> Pentax P&S --> Canon G9 --> Canon G10 --> Pentax Kx --> K5 --> K5IIs --> K3

---------- Post added 08-21-14 at 08:39 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Undot Quote
That's what I was thinking about at first. C menu number 22ish? But that would leave a vertically shot landscape lying on its side, so probably not the best solution. A rotating or square sensor, now that would be cool.

Besides the tips already posted here, maybe using the Hugin stitcher software could be something to work with. Taking several overlapping photos and combining them to one broader panorama in post production. There's other tools or Photoshop doing that, too, but Hugin is free and pretty easy to use. Albeit stitching does have limits of course, like my last try with too many repetitive patterns.
It's what I was thinking as well!
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